Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Talkin' 'Bout Their Generation(s)


The generally progressive political leanings of the Millennial generation are well-documented. But we're just starting to get to the point where the Post-Millennials (for want of a better term), those born in the 21st century, are reaching voting age. Will this next generation also be as progressive? If so, we should  be able to detect early signs of this in the views of those at the tail end of the Millennial generation and the very beginning of the Post-Millennial generation--say those currently aged 15-24. 

And well, how about that--the good folks the Public Religion Research Institute have an informative new survey out covering just that age group. There's a lot to digest there and I urge you to check out the entire report. But here are some findings from the survey that I thought were particularly interesting:

  • 15-24 year olds give Donald Trump an incredibly bad 25 percent favorable/72 percent unfavorable rating.
  • Democratic party: 57 percent favorable; Republican party: 31 percent favorable. Obama: 70 percent favorable!
  • Oppose building the wall on the Mexican border: 72 percent, oppose temporary ban on some Muslims entering country: 63 percent, favor legal gay marriage: 75 percent, oppose birth gender bathroom requirements for transgender individuals: 62 percent, oppose making abortion more difficult: 72 percent.
  • Is there a lot of discrimination against: Muslims (84 percent yes); Transgender people (79 percent); blacks (72 percent); gays (72 percent); Hispanics (63 percent)....compare to: whites (23 percent yes); white men (16 percent).
  • Almost two-thirds of 15-24 year olds say that colleges should allow controversial speakers on campuses even if they espouse views deemed offensive to some students.
  • Discrimination against men is now as big a problem as discrimination against women: 76 percent disagree.
  • Women's gains in recent years have come at the expense of men: 72 percent disagree.
  • Discrimination against whites is now as big a problem as discrimination against blacks and other minorities: 69 percent disagree.
  • Efforts to increase diversity almost always come at the expense of whites: 66 percent disagree.
  • Contact with immigrants who speak little English bothers me: 70 percent disagree.
These are pretty liberal responses and do not suggest that the youngest Millennials and the entering cohort of Post-Millennials are likely to change the solidly progressive politics we've seen from Millennials so far. Generational replacement should continue to undermine the Trumpified GOP for many years to come.

Note: Some may read this and be disappointed there wasn't 100 percent disagreement (or agreement) with some of these questions. Be reasonable! The central tendency here is very, very liberal and they are replacing, in effect, people in the electorate who are much, much more conservative. And yes, whites in this 15-24 year old age group are indeed more conservative than their black, Latino and Asian counterparts. But they are far more liberal than older whites across the board, which is the really important thing.

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